Before You Start Writing

ImageBefore you have written your first words on paper, allow me to give you a few tips that will save you a lot of aggravation in the long run. 

Get a Website 

Whether you do it yourself or get someone else to do it for you, get a website. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t written anything yet, get one anyway. Especially if you know you’re going to do a lot of writing. You can post a daily blog on it or photos or something until you get the books finished. Once you have completed your books and they are ready it will be much simpler to upload information about them if you already have a website. Just make sure your website has an attractive professional look to it. You can always update or expand it once your books start selling. 

Get some Business Cards 

Vistaprint has many interesting designs these days at relatively inexpensive rates. I checked out Vistaprint when it was new and nothing was there specifically for writers. Now there are several very nice designs that will show you are a writer. Some can be customized with a quote (for free) and upgraded to look very professional and unique. You can design the business cards yourself and have them printed elsewhere. Whichever choice you make, those business cards are a necessity. Hand them out to everyone you meet. 

Build a Network 

Whether it is via social media or live in-person networking, do it. Interact with these people often, if not daily via social websites. Those business cards will be great handouts at personal networking events. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest just to name a few allow you to share photos, comments, likes, stories or whatever suits you. The importance of this is that once you have finished that book and gotten it out there, these are the people who will show you support and, hopefully, help get the word out about your work. The following you build prior to publishing your book will be more supportive than those who follow you after the book is published. 

Regardless of what anyone tells you, it is time-consuming and oftentimes drudgery but it will help you in the future. 


Regardless of what anyone else says, self-publishing is the wave of the future. Traditional publishing houses are going the way of the do-do bird. These establishments will one day be extinct. It may yet take some time, but it is coming. Create Space is a subsidiary of Amazon and the publishing format I use. Automatically, your book is available on Amazon, the largest retailer on the Internet. This, too, is something of note: Amazon may someday be the only retailer on the Internet. 

Self-publishing allows you to set the price of your book thereby determining the profit you wish to make. Keep it modest. A $10 profit on each book sale is greed, pure and simple, and guarantees you will have no sales at all. 

Plan an event 

Look ahead to the time when you have that book completed and published. How are you going to get the word out? Bring attention to yourself and your work? Can you tie your book in with current events or other media? 

This is something you should consider prior to writing your book or, at the very least, while you’re writing your book. 

It has been stated numerous times that word of mouth is the best way to create that much-needed author exposure. While I don’t completely agree with that I don’t completely disagree with it, either. It is as difficult to get word of mouth recommendations as it is any other marketing. 

Plan an event around your book. A book reading, a book signing, a class at a local school, be part of a literary festival, send press releases to local media, schedule a talk on a local radio/TV show to discuss your book. Heck, have a yard sale and give away a few copies of your book along with your business card or any other materials related to your book. 

Then plan another event. The more events you have or attend, the more exposure you will get for your writing. 

Why Do This Before You Start Writing? 

I am one of those people who did none of this prior to publishing any of my books. I began self-publishing in 2009 and simply had no idea to do any of this. Playing “catch-up” is much too overwhelming. I am buried in the attempt to understand and use the social media. I get very little results but I am certain that is due to my lack of being accustomed to it. Time restraints don’t allow me to spend as much energy on the social media sites as is purportedly required. 

Get an early start on it and get used to it. Your path to being a successful writer will be much smoother.






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